Tag Archives: rescue

Bergen County Shelter Rescues 69 Animals from Westwood, NJ Home

While browsing through local New Jersey news, we were shocked to find out that 69 animals were discovered in a Westwood home where they were being neglected, uncared for and living in confined spaces. Many suffered from irritated skin and heavily matted fur with urine and fecal matter. Bergen County Animal Shelter (BCAS) has stepped in to care for rescued animals.



50 dogs, two cats, four birds, a lizard and a chinchilla were rescued and have since been cleaned and treated. BCAS has begun to train the animals and socialize them as they arrived terrified and seemed to lack much human interaction. The dogs are learning to walk using leashes for the first time and learning to trust the volunteers at BCAS.



When we heard they were requesting our pet food by name in a Facebook post we reached out immediately to help get food to them as soon as possible. We were told the animals were having trouble eating and taking food from the volunteers. In the past they’ve seen even the most unsocialized or scared animal approach when given our foods. We’re happy to learn that our foods are a crowd pleaser but more importantly they  have been able to bring together shelter workers and animals.


Freshpet has made a generous donation of Freshpet Select Chicken rolls to help feed the animals. We’ve worked with BCAS in the past and know that these animals are in good hands. We hope to have an update soon that the animals are gaining healthy weight and are getting ready to find homes.

The shelter is currently taking donations of towels, fleece blankets, washable comforters or blankets (no sheets), and more. To learn how you can help please call 201-229-4600 or email shelter@co.bergen.nj.us.

From Life Threatening Hernia, to a Happy Kitten Awaiting Adoption

When we got in contact with Adriana Meucci, a volunteer at Caring About The Strays (C.A.T.S.) in Westwood, NJ, and saw this photo of Penelope, we immediately fell for her and knew we wanted to help.


Penelope was surrendered to C.A.T.S this past Spring and was put into a foster home. She was sweet but also very tiny. After medical evaluation, it was confirmed she had a large inguinal hernia. This can be caused by incomplete closure of an umbilical ring after birth. It was the size of a golf ball, and with her small frame, it was causing her pain while crawling around, jumping or playing.




Because of the large size of the hernia, there was high risk that it would cause intestines or other tissues to get trapped and strangled around the hernia which in many cases can cause death. They decided they couldn’t wait to have the hernia repaired during her spay surgery taking place later in the year.


Like with all medical procedures done to animals while under foster care, the shelter or rescue covers the cost. Hernias and other ailments are common issues when it comes to rescuing cats or dogs, and the cost of caring for all of these loving animals adds up. C.A.T.S. funds these veterinary visits through donations.


Freshpet has made a donation to cover the cost of Penelope’s vet bills and we hope her story inspires you to play a part too! A donation big or small will make a difference. Your donation can help to treat and care for cats like Penelope at Caring For The Strays.


We’re happy to say that after her surgery, Penelope is now healthy, thriving and looking for a home. She’s a fluffy and happy girl that is great with other cats. We ask that you share her story so we can help her to find her new family and to help her fellow fosters at C.A.T.S. get the help they need.





If you’re interested in learning more about the cats up for adoption at Caring About The Strays visit care4strays.org.






Beloved German Shepherd Brings Joy to Others Even After He Passed

This Tail of Good comes from our Marketing Art Director, Katie Amos, who rescued a German Shepherd in 2014. This pictorial chronicles her life with Carlton and how after some hardships, they were able to help another German Shepherd in need.

I began working at Freshpet during the summer of 2014, and it quickly prompted dog-fever and endless hours on the pet adoption site, Petfinder. My boyfriend Willem and I found a dog that I fell for through Ready for Rescue, a group based out of NYC and headed by Doug Halsey.


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The dog we inquired about ended up not being available due to complications with its foster at the time, so Doug recommended a few other dogs, including his “special case” and “long-shot,” Carlton. I immediately fell in love with him.



(His picture from Petfinder, after his surgery)


We were told that Carlton was found tied to a tree in Brooklyn, outside of Animal Control, with a very large tumor on his front paw. As a result, he was given three days before he was going to be put down. Ready For Rescue, under the impression that they had a home secured for Carlton, stepped in at the last moment, pulled Carlton from Animal Control and took him straight to the vet.



(Shortly after being rescued, before surgery)


With the biopsy coming back as cancer, the potential adopter backed out, but Ready For Rescue remained committed to Carlton, having his tumor removed and placing him in a kennel just out of the city, and put him up for adoption on Petfinder.


We finally met Carlton in early July in Bedford, NY. They let him outside into his play are where we played in a kiddie pool, and watched him enjoy a bucket of water where he’d dunk his head. He was so big and doofy. He still didn’t know his name very well, but responded nicely to treat. We just knew how good of a boy he was.




We left very muddy and very excited. A couple of days later we made the decision to take him home.


Willem and I once again made the drive out to Bedford, but this time we returned home with a big, stinky German Shepherd whom we decided to name Carlton Banks. He knew basic commands, but was terrible on a leash. As soon as we got home, he ate dinner (his favorite being Vital Grain Free Beef & Bison), drank a ton of water, and promptly laid down in our dark room. He spent quite a bit of his first few days sleeping in our room by himself, in the dark, only coming out to go for a quick walk or to eat.





Eventually he warmed up to us and began spending time where we were, behaving better on the leash, and thus taking longer walks.


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Everything pretty much fell into place from there. We learned quite a bit about him and how best to train him. We went on a lot of hikes, he slept next to our bed every night. Our life was amazing together. He even got to accompany us on a road-trip to Minnesota, which he weirdly loved. We met so many people in our neighborhood from people stopping us to tell us how handsome Carlton was, and to give him a little pet. He loved the attention.





  • Nicknames from Willem and I: Biggest Buddy, Bear, Wolf-Dog, C-town, or simply “C.”
  • Nicknames for the neighborhood: the Mayor, the Neighborhood Dog, K-9 Unit.




Carlton’s health problems began to reveal themselves in late October, when he had his first seizure in the middle of the night. The vet did not feel concerned about them until December when he had two seizures within 24 hours. As a result, we decided to put Carlton on medication to suppress his seizures and make him more comfortable.



While taking the medications, Carlton did not have another seizure until late January, where he had 6 over the course of two days. We took him to the ER, where we met Doug Hasley again, who was generous enough to assist us through the entire process. Doug had a working relationship with the vet and was able to give us time financially to pay off Carlton’s bills. Without his help we wouldn’t have been able to perform an MRI and ultimately understand what was going on with Carlton. MRI results showed that Carlton had a very advanced and aggressive brain tumor. He was put on an array of medications, including oral chemo treatments, and we were told that he only had a couple of months at most.


Every day after that was very precious, but exhausting. He was very loopy when he first came home, as he got used to his meds, and had to pee frequently. There were a lot of early mornings, late nights, and middle-of-the-night trips outside in the snow, as well as many more accidents.



One day, shortly after beginning the workday, Carlton had a small seizure despite being on two different anti-convulsants. Willem said he whimpered during this one, something that hadn’t happened before. He had another one shortly after, so Willem picked me up and we went to the vet. Carlton had two more seizures on the drive there, and another while we were waiting for the vet to free up. It was there that we were given options, and felt it best that Carlton’s suffering come to an end, because the other option was even more medications, which he was already having a lot of trouble with. The vet regretfully told us that, that was what he thought was best too.




It was a difficult time but I was grateful to be part of a company like Freshpet that understood that pets are family, and could relate to what we were going through. I found I had a support system that helped me cope. The company also offered to help with Carlton’s vet bills that had built up over the last few months.


Shortly after coming home after Carlton had passed, we gathered up all of his stuff and put it out of sight, as seeing his bed next to the couch was too much. We really wanted to donate his stuff, as he had quite a lot of very nice things and was incredibly spoiled with toys.


German Shepherd Rescue of New Jersey (GSRNJ) was recommended to me and I felt it was the perfect fit. Freshpet works with GSNRJ by graciously donating food to help all the foster parents feed their foster dogs a fresh meal. I connected with Lynn DeStefano, who directed me to Rambo. He was the pup who got first pick of the goodies Carlton left behind.


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Rambo is a 6 year old German Shepherd who was recently taken in by a foster through GSRNJ after his owner passed away. He now has a foster sister and a large backyard where he is working on shedding some extra weight which he gained over the past three years, which he spend in bed with his sick owner. He is a classically handsome GSD with a really endearing “lazy ear.” He is known for being quite the couch potato and is a gentle giant.



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It felt amazing to come full circle and be able to make a difference in another German Shepherd’s life with Carlton’s favorite things. He would have loved that too, and it helped to bring me just a little bit closer to closure. Freshpet also graciously made a food donation to GSRNJ to help all the foster parents feed their foster dogs a fresh meal.


Rambo is still up for adoption and is eagerly waiting to be placed in a permanent home. He’s warm, loving and devoted, and great with kids and other dogs. He just needs someone to take a chance with him like we once did with Carlton.


If you’d like to learn more about Rambo or the German Shepherd Rescue of New Jersey visit Rambo’s profile here or gsrnj.org.

Adopt a Dog Cheat Sheet

October is Adopt a Dog month, which means persuading your friends into getting a dog… a little more than you usually do. This is your perfect time to shine.


We find that people can be on the fence about adopting and need some more compelling (and fun) reasons to get to the shelter. We’re all about bringing a new pet into the home to build a family and give an adorable animal a loving home. Here’s a cheat sheet to prep you for your conversation with that pet-parent to be.




You’re Looking For a Running Buddy
What better way to get active and stay fit? You’ll always have a workout buddy to get out there and persuade you with all their tail-wagging energy.
You Could Use a BFF

He’ll always be down for a good comedy or ordering in on a Friday night. Trust us.


Grandpa Could Use a Companion

We miss Grandma and Grandpa just as much as they miss us when we’re not around. So why not surprise them with a companion to share some fun and hugs.


You Could Use a Pick-Me-Up

Dogs are actually amazing in the “warm and fuzzy” department. Pets are actually proven  to make you feel physically and emotionally good. It could be from all their unconditional love.


You’re Saving a Cute Face

When you adopt you’re likely to be saving a puppy’s life compared to other alternatives of getting a pet. Puppy mills for example don’t always give dogs the proper care and attention they need.  To learn more about puppy mills visit HumaneSociety.org.




There’s Nothing Wrong With Fido

There is a silly misconception that when you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you’re getting an abused, sick or aggressive pet. Many dogs lose their homes for reasons out of their control. So don’t let the word “adopt” become synonymous with sick.  They can be just as healthy, if not healthier than a lot of the dogs you know!



Ready to look? First, locate and visit your local animal shelter and get acquainted with the dogs up for adoption. Need more resources? Here are a few places to help you, a friend or family member find a dog (or two) of their own.


We wish you the best of luck in persuading your friend to bring home a new family member. After all love is a four legged word.

The Sochi Pups’ Big Reveal

It’s been nearly seven months since Gus Kenworthy first met the Sochi Pups and began the journey to give them a new life. Gus-and-Stick Back in May, we were lucky enough to meet Gus and the pups, and offered to help them start their new life on the right paw, with a diet of fresh, all natural food and treats. Now, the pups are happy, healthy and thriving in Denver. After three months, Gus reveals how a Fresh Start has made all the difference to Mishka and Jake: I can’t believe it’s been six months since Robin and the Humane Society International helped me bring Momma, Mishka and Jake home. The dogs have become my best friends, and I can’t imagine life without them. They’ve grown up so much, and it’s funny to see how different their personalities have become. Mishka loves to play all the time, and she’s a huge cuddler. Jake is a bit calmer. He loves sneaking off to be alone, especially when I give him a Freshpet Sweet Potato chew. When I first started feeding them fresh food, Freshpet gave me a scorecard to help track their transformation. At first I wasn’t sure I’d see much difference, but looking back now I can see how far they’ve come. They have so much energy and are always ready to play, they are strong and athletic and maintain a good weight. I can’t wait to get them out into the snow with me as I start training- I know they can handle it. Their coats are shiny and soft- they still feel like puppies. And, their eyes are very clear. Jake always gets compliments! Best of all, they are always stoked to eat. I can’t even go to the fridge to take out a snack for myself without them running into the kitchen looking for a treat. People are constantly coming up to me and asking how they can adopt dogs like this, and I tell them- you shouldn’t have to. You can go and get a great dog at your local shelter. There are so many rescues that need to be taken care of right here in the U.S. 


10358414_1421675594771617_150925919_n We’re thrilled to have been able to help Mishka and Jake grow into healthy, strong, and beautiful dogs. We can’t wait to see what’s next for all of the Kenworthy clan; we know there are good things to come. We’re also happy to announce that because of you, we’re able to donate $5000 to Humane Society International to aide in their Street Dog program. Thank you from all of us at Freshpet for following the Sochi Pups’ Fresh Start.

Watch Gus tell the story of the Sochi Pups below:

Reintroducing the “Vicktory Dogs”

Much like most of you, we are suckers for a happy ending, especially when it follows a truly devastating story. That’s why we were so pleased when we read an article by our friends at Barkpost about the “Vicktory Dogs,” the dogs that were rescued from NFL player Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring.


In 2007, after the dogs were discovered at Vick’s home, many people thought that the dogs needed to be put down because they were dangerous creatures. Thankfully, individuals and organizations like the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary stepped in and spoke on behalf of the dogs. In fact, they took in 22 of the dogs and introduced them into better lives.


Now with a little bit of much-needed love and affection, the dogs are doing better than ever.


Here are a few of the highlights:


Cherry, one of the dogs, found himself on the TV show “Dogtown” and is enjoying the benefits of being an Internet celebrity.


Handsome Dan, another one of the dogs was adopted by a family and even enjoys spending time and looking after his new baby (human) sister!


The rest of the dogs are leading equally fulfilling and happy lives. The resilient spirit that these dogs have is really amazing. It really is an inspiration to all of us.

Read all of these amazing stories here.

How A Stray Named Jude Found His Appetite, and Spirit, With Freshpet

The following is a story that is sure to warm your heart.


We are proud to introduce Lateefa, who has been involved in the veterinary community for over 20 years. With a heart as big as gold, Lateefa couldn’t help but beam as she described her story to us…


Last August, Lateefa was at the Redbank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey for a client visit when she bumped into the head doctor of the facility. It had been a few years since her last pup, a German Shepherd / Collie mix, and she was finally coming around to inviting another into her home. “I’m thinking about fostering a German Shepherd!” she told the doctor. “Oh geez, don’t do it. You know better than anyone else how exhausting it can be. Are you sure you’re ready?” he replied.


But there had been an absence of love in her house without a pup, and besides, “If I was going to foster a dog, it’d have to be a dog that really needs me and my expertise, right?” thought Lateefa. And so, she decided to give the gift of her love and care to a pup in need.


Lateefa knew that whatever dog she ended up fostering, it was likely that food was going to be an important factor on the road to recovery. So, the doctor at Redbank connected her with Dr. Lisa Weeth, a leading veterinary nutritionist at the hospital who could help advise on the proper food to get her future foster dog eating again.


As it turns out, Dr. Lisa Weeth was one of the nutritionists who helped create the original Freshpet formula. To this day, we still work closely with Dr. Weeth on ingredients, nutritional consultation and recipe ideas to ensure your dogs and cats are getting everything that they need.


See where this story is headed?


Enter Jude. Jude was picked up as a stray on the streets of Helmetta, New Jersey. Jude was believed to be an eight-year-old German Shepherd, weighing in at a dangerously frail 50 pounds – half the healthy body weight for his breed and age. Jude found his way to the Garden State German Shepherd Rescue (GSGSR) in Millburn, New Jersey. A few days later, Lateefa got the call.


Jude Beginning


Having been told about Jude’s condition, Lateefa was nervous and hopeful that she was up to the task. Jude was pretty much barren of any fur from his rib cage to his tail, with a bulging spine from malnutrition. Lateefa had been told by GSGSR that Jude was struggling to eat, but with Dr. Lisa Weeth’s advice about feeding Freshpet in mind, Lateefa was optimistic.


At 2pm on August 8th, 2013, Lateefa met GSGSR to pick up Jude, and braced herself as they opened the car door.


Right away, she thought to herself, “Oh my God…he’s got Mange, too.” Aside from a lack of fur, decrepit body and wounded morale, Jude couldn’t receive physical affection because of his lesions.


While he may have looked at Lateefa with the gentlest eyes you can imagine, “In 31 years, I have never seen a dog as emotionally broken as Jude,” uttered Lateefa. He seemed eager to get into her car, and from there the two drove home together.


Lateefa simply tried to make Jude comfortable for the first few days. With Dr. Weeth’s nutritional advice in mind, a low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber diet was just what Jude would need to find his appetite and put on body weight to aid in his physical and emotional recovery. So, Lateefa pulled out a roll of Freshpet Vital Beef and Bison from the fridge and waited with anticipation to see if Jude would take to it.


Within minutes, the dog that struggled to eat while at GSGSR took right to his new fresh, all natural food. “I love the fact that Freshpet is a natural diet,” says Lateefa, “and for the first few weeks I would feed him ¼ pound of Freshpet with a boiled egg and rice six times a day, just to get his weight up.” Finally, Jude was getting into a healthy eating routine.


It didn’t take long for Lateefa to begin to notice a change in her Jude.


Jude - Eating FP


“I genuinely believe that it was his love for food, his Freshpet, that brought him out of his broken state,” says Lateefa. Jude’s favorite Beef and Bison, along with Lateefa’s amazing communication and one-on-one interaction, is what boosted Jude’s weight and lifted his spirit.


With Jude eating again, Lateefa got another stroke of luck early in her fostering of Jude. Lateefa had kept in touch with the GSGSR to let them know how Jude had been doing, and was so pleasantly surprised to hear that Freshpet had recently donated over 800 pounds of Vital dog food to their shelter. “We haven’t had to buy a roll yet, all of Jude’s food has been donated from Freshpet,” remarks Lateefa. “He’s absolutely in love with beef and bison – he freakin’ loves it!” In fact, Jude loves his Freshpet rolls so much that he won’t touch kibble if Lateefa tries to mix it in, “He just picks out the Freshpet.”


Today, Jude is now over 90 pounds, with a full coat and is finally showing his true personality. “He barks at the deer now – that’s a sound I wasn’t sure he would even make,” says Lateefa.


Jude Montage


The former stray who suffered from physical and emotional heartbreak, with signs of obvious physical abuse from previous owners, now runs and wines and jumps and nudges you for attention…and his food.


“He’s now such a foodie,” says Lateefa, “so much of his happiness came from his food. I really think his Freshpet made all the difference.”


Today, Jude is available for adoption and looking for a forever home that can provide him with the same love and care that Lateefa has so generously given. Thank you Lateefa and GSGSR for the amazing work you’ve done to get Jude back to his normal self, and we can’t wait to hear more about how Jude is doing in the near future!


Do you have a Freshpet Story you’d like to share? Or do you want to learn more about how we work with shelters across the country? Write a review of your favorite Freshpet recipe or visit our Charitable Donations page at Freshpet.org.


Freshpet Visits the Bloomfield Animal Shelter

We love spending time with some of the shelters that we work with.


Last Friday, when the Bloomfield Animal Shelter invited us to come see how much their pups and kitties were loving our Freshpet donation, we jumped at the opportunity!


Over the last few months, we’ve donated more than 1,500 cases of Freshpet Vital food to shelters around the country in time for Thanksgiving. Our friends at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter received more than 500 pounds of their favorite Freshpet Vital Beef & Bison rolls to help their rescues get the proper nutrition and energy they need in hopes of being adopted by a permanent family. So, what did they think of their special delivery?


One of the two Bloomfield Fridges filled with Freshpet Vital!


When we first arrived, Shelter Manager and Supervisor of Bloomfield Animal Control, Mike, gave us the grand tour. They had not one, but two Freshpet fridges stocked with boxes of Freshpet Vital food! The pups were so excited and were wagging their tails intently as we walked through.


After showing us around, Mike brought out Orlando, an absolutely precious pit bull with such a sweet disposition – quite the charmer! Orlando came to the shelter two weeks ago after being picked up by someone as a stray. Given how friendly he was with shelter volunteers and our team, it seemed as though Orlando had previously been living with a family or at least was used to human interaction. This adorable pup joined us outside for some Freshpet taste-testing. He was so excited for an afternoon treat!


Here’s our adorable new friend, Orlando, as he eats his Freshpet Vital!


Before leaving, we met another new friend of ours, Atlas. This pup was also found as a stray in town, but was really on his last legs when he arrived at the shelter. Without much more than skin, bones and a few very painful-looking sores, Atlas’ weight was at a mere 21 pounds. Thanks to some veterinary attention and endless love and affection from the volunteers at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter, not only are Atlas’ infected sores cleaned up, but he’s beginning to regain his coat and now weighs in at a healthy 42 pounds! Mike said that without Freshpet, not many of the pups that come in with such low weight issues would be able to regain the muscle and fat they need to survive and potentially be adopted.


Our new furry friend Atlas, who put on over 20 pounds since arriving at the Bloomfield Shelter!


Thank you so much to Mike and the rest of the volunteers over at the Bloomfield Animal Shelter! We loved coming to visit and are so thrilled that the pups and kitties are enjoying their Freshpet food in time for Thanksgiving. We hope to hear about many adoptions for the animals you have taken in soon and thanks again for the work you do every day!


For more information on how we work with shelters around the country, please visit our Freshpet Charitable Donations page here.


The Bloomfield pups ready for new homes!



The Bloomfield Animal Shelter has many deserving cats and dogs available for immediate adoption to residents of any community. If you’d like to learn more, please contact them at (973) 748-0194!